The Very Definition of Madness
Omigawd, is it Christmas Eve already? And here I am with no decorations up, no presents purchased, no special foods prepared, and no travel plans made.
The Christmas dream (that seasonal counterpart to the “Oh no, I have a French exam tomorrow and I didn’t attend any classes or do any studying!” dream) is my reality, except I’m not horrified and panicked, I’m at peace.
That’s because I’ve finally done it, ignored the bejeezus out of Christmas, and now that it’s almost here, I feel fine.
As I’ve blogged before, my kids spend Christmas with their grandparents and have since my ex and I separated nine years ago. It was difficult (for me) at the time, but it was the right (as in, easiest) thing to do and I highly recommend it.
To all separating couples – pick a Christmas side, go up a generation, and donate Christmas. It was easy for me because my mother’s much older than my former in-laws, not into kids at all (unless they’re old enough to drink a martini and are actively pursuing a career in one profession or another), and lives way the hell up and over in Sault Ste. Marie.
My former in-laws are the original Christmas people, and not long into marriage (now that I recall events more correctly) I gave up trying to do Christmas and said, “Here. Take Christmas. You’re welcome.”
It had hovered for weeks as I began to prepare everything from scratch, loomed for days as I laboured frantically to tie up all the loose ends, including knitted hair for pioneer dolls, then finally crashed down upon my head Christmas Eve when my ex would venture out to eclipse my homemaker’s homemade Christmas with his salaried store bought one.
Omigawd… breakthrough – I don’t hate Christmas, I hate my ex!
Oh well, too late now. Besides, my Beau, who is like a real life Mary Poppins (practically perfect in every way) at regular intervals yesterday would look up from reading his new favourite blog (some snarky brain doc gone rogue) to sigh happily and say even more happily how happy he is that we don’t do Christmas the way everybody else does Christmas.
What he means by that is, we don’t do Christmas at all.
And maybe it’s being unemployed (I’m not even giving my kids their annual Christmas gift of $100 this year) but I doubt once I’m working again, if I’m working again, I’ll resume the practice. Having opted out, finally, completely, I can’t see myself opting back in again. I’m so out of Christmas, in fact, that I almost do a “Hunh? Whatnow?” when someone wishes me a merry one.
My delayed “merry Christmas” back is now always preceded by a “Oh, right, wtf, totally not in my Christmas head space yet, yeah, geez louise, better get on it, eh?”.
Then, when we watch the evening news, which we often do but not always, it’s one story after another about people coping, or not, with the annual shopping and traveling ritual that is a modern North American shopping mall and winter weather watch Christmas. And, of course, those stories are followed by the good old Dickensian stories of the have set helping out the have not set to have the merriest of soup kitchen and toy drive and carol concert Christmases.
I mean, either I’m crazy or Christmas is. And if I’m crazy, I can’t see that opting back into Christmas will make me any less so.
Also, having reached that rarefied state of completely ignoring Christmas, such that I don’t even feel guilty about it anymore, I find myself, finally, actually enjoying the season, not to mention the winter wonderland that is currently Ottawa.
As Christmas Yoda would say, “Jolly I am”.
But I don’t want to be a holier’n thou know-it-all, either, so have yourself a merry little Christmas, too, no matter how you do it up or don’t.